Sen. Smith Celebrates Earth Day and Calls for Action

MADISON – Today Sen. Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) joins all of Wisconsin in celebrating the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day.

Over the last year, Governor Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes organized the Climate Change Task Force, which brought together stakeholders to respond to the evolving climate crisis. The Task Force shared policy recommendations in their report in October 2020; Governor Evers included thirty-five proposals in his 2021-23 biennial budget.

“I join advocates to celebrate Earth Day and call on Republicans to include commonsense climate change mitigation policies in the budget,” said Sen. Smith. “As a lifelong resident of rural, western Wisconsin I know how much pride we take in the natural beauty of our state. Our environment is integral to farming, building healthy communities and creating recreational opportunities. As a member of Governor Evers’ Climate Change Task Force, I understand we risk losing this all if we don’t take bold steps today to protect our environment.

“Wisconsin has always been an environmental conservation leader, but we’ve fallen behind in the last decade. Governor Evers’ budget includes important measures to develop sustainable agricultural practices and strengthen our crumbling infrastructure. Republicans can choose to make these smart investments today or choose to ignore this crisis and have future generations face the consequences.”

Below are some proposals included in Governor Evers’ biennial budget related to environmental protections. A more detailed overview of Governor Evers’ budget proposals can be found here.

  • Reauthorize the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to test and monitor forever chemicals like PFAS in drinking water
  • Increase funding for the Municipal Flood Control and Riparian Restoration programs
  • Create a flood resilience plan with a focus on rural and urban-specific watershed action
  • Support for farmer-led watershed groups
  • Provide additional relief to farmers whose crops have been damaged by flooding
  • Create and fund a Value-Added Agricultural Grant Program
  • Increase funding for CWD testing and education efforts